State Colleges

Newman women's coach intends to succeed soon

In the most literal sense, Jaime Green won the job as women's basketball coach at Newman University.

"I wasn't sure who she was before the Region VI Tournament started," said Newman athletic director Vic Trilli. "But the more games I went to see her team play and the more people I talked to, the more I realized that this might be our next coach.

"It was such a critical hire for us ... I had to get it right."

Green, 29, was introduced as the Jets' coach on Friday, winning over Trilli as he watched her Labette Community College team win the first Region VI title in school history last month at Koch Arena and then finish third in the NJCAA Division I Tournament at Salina.

Green, who played college basketball at Missouri Southern, went 81-21 in three seasons at Labette and was the Jayhawk East women's coach of the year twice.

"I want to let people know that it's going to take time, but not too much time," Green said. "We want to produce great wins, conference titles and national championships."

Trilli announced the resignation of Tracy Anderson last month after four seasons in which the Jets went 31-80, including 7-20 this season and 8-19 in 2008-2009.

Green had to make a tough decision when it came to her next coaching opportunity, choosing Newman, an NCAA Division II school, over several opportunities to be a Division I assistant coach.

"My goal has always been to get to the NCAA level, and I know that a lot of people think I made a bad decision by not going to a Division I school, but this feels right," Green said. "The way I've always accomplished things is through hard work and integrity. By making a lot of sacrifices. If me coaching at a Division I school is meant to happen, it'll happen."

Green's first official day at Newman is Monday, and she was pretty straightforward about what her priorities were as far as recruiting and evaluating the players left over from Anderson's era.

"Recruiting, for us, started yesterday... we're going to go out and pick some fights with the big boys, recruiting-wise, and try to make Wichita our backyard," Green said. "As far as returners, we'll look at what we have, and if it's not a good fit then we'll find something that is."